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Fuel, electricity shortages hurt businesses in Yangon, Mandalay

2 June 2022

Worsening fuel shortages and power cuts are impacting the operations of SMEs in Yangon and Mandalay, the Irrawaddy reported this week. 

Businesses including those involved in instant noodle and vermicelli production, purified drinking water and food production, Myanmar traditional medicine and pickled tea leaf manufacturing, among others, have been affected.

Many are cutting down on staff and reducing their operating hours due to challenges in obtaining fuel and electricity.

One business owner told the outlet that he could not operate regularly because he was unable to purchase enough diesel to run his generator. 

Many businesses are also currently reliant on diesel generators for power due to the electricity generation crisis. At present, government electricity providers are implementing load shedding plans, with communities across the country experiencing blackouts for several hours per day. 

Speaking to the Irrawaddy, the business owner said that diesel supplies were running short at larger retailers such as BOC and Denko. He eventually found diesel at another station for the price of Ks3,500 per litre. 

The owner of a pickled tea leaf manufacturing business in Mandalay told the outlet that some areas of the city are experiencing power cuts for up to 12 hours per day. Oftentimes power is cut even during hours when it is supposed to be available. Similar problems have been reported in Yangon. 

He said that many fuel stations are only selling around Ks10,000 worth of fuel per customer. The business owner said that many tea leaf manufacturing businesses are now operating only a few times a week due to the shortages. 

The owner of a purified drinking water business in a Yangon industrial zone said he could only purchase up to Ks20,000 worth of 92 Octane and Ks50,000 of diesel to supply his generators. 

As a result, he has been experiencing losses and has been forced to cut staff.